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Down Under – Laughing at Controversy

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If the trailer for Down Under is anything to go by, Abe Forsythe’s latest film is going to cause some strong reactions. Firstly, it looks like it will be hilarious. Disgustingly stereotypical, but hilarious – and perhaps that’s why it will be successful. Some people will understand the stereotypical, tongue in cheek humour, where others will see it as an attack on race, or even an endorsement to the horrible events that unfolded in Cronulla in 2006.

A provocative black comedy set during the aftermath of the Cronulla riots, Down Under focuses on two groups of hotheads from both sides of the fight who are destined to collide. – Sydney Film Festival

The film is set in the aftermath of the Cronulla riots, following two groups of crazed patriots, ultimately leading to the inevitable clash of cultures. On one side are the Cronulla locals, lead by Jason (Damon Herriman), “patrolling the streets” because “daddy’s gotta beat up some Wogs”. Those “Wogs” end up being Lakemba lads who are heading out on a “retaliation mission” along with reluctant and studious Hassim (Lincoln Younes). This clash is clearly set to be shocking, controversial, violent, and hilarious.

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Of this subject matter, Abe Forsythe (director) spoke to Sydney Film Festival: “All my favourite comedies are tragedies and what happened to our national identity on the day of the Cronulla riots was a tragedy. I can’t wait for people to follow the characters and the world my cast and crew have helped me build. It’s not that different from the world we currently live in”.

Perhaps from this film we will start to see Australian films move to more modern issues and portrayals of itself.

Down Under is set to premiere at the Sydney Film Festival on June 15 and will be in cinemas around the country from August 11.

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